SEX IN THE COUNTRY: Putin Campaign Takes a Page from Howard Stern

Tits are great, it’s true.  Fake boobs, on the other hand, I find a total turn off, and cannot even look at them.  Luckily, the latest propaganda out of Russia features a woman, Diana, with natural breasts.  This insane video views more like The Howard Stern Show crossed with an ad for Apple Computers than a political ad.  Though the woman featured is ostensibly talking about Putin’s viability as a presidential candidate (again? – that’s democracy for ya!) the camera is pretty much on her cleavage the whole time.  The rest of the time it’s on Apple products, (someone tell Steve Jobs) which I can only guess symbolize prosperity or technology. The campaign is giving away Ipads – you’re in the running if you agree to strip. The strategy:  get a bunch of women to strip for Putin, then he’ll agree to run for president again. It reminds me of Danielle Chiesi, having sex for information that she gave away: pointless and nonsensical. Putin will run anyway, regardless of cleavage.

Of course it’s just another way to get people to pay attention to Putin, but it’s interesting that Communists (maybe not technically, but not far from it) and Republicans find common ground in pretty, empty-headed women, like Diana and Sarah Palin. There’s a whiff of appealing to the lowest common denominator there, with the cheesecake booby shots, kind of like an ad for muscle cars. These groups are not, for example, employing the imagery of great politicians and leaders like Golda Meir or Mother Theresa.

But the left is not above the tittie shot either.  In 2007, the Polish Women’s Party promoted posters in which seven candidates were nude or partially nude.  And in March of this year, a group of women from the activist organization CODEPINK stripped outside Dianne Feinstein’s office in San Francisco to protest the solitary confinement of Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking information to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks website.

It’s difficult to gage if these stunts work.  Yes, they grab attention, but, like the Alka Seltzer jingle, assessing whether or not they effect change, the change desired, is questionable. For me, boobs and Putin is a disconnect, even boobs and politics seem like a disconnect.  But I’m thinking I’m not the target audience.  The target audience in this case seems to be blue-collar Russian men, ages 18-34 (the same market as the movie Transformers). But it appeals to women too, women who want to be associated with the party of good-looking women.

Diana, Palin, Bachmann, plus the many political appointments made by Silvio Berlusconi, whose strategy has been to get “Breasts. Oh, and if possible, something to carry them around”, have all gotten attention for their looks – and their airheadedness, an anti-intellectualism that is presented as being of the people.  Is it possible, do you think, that a woman could be pretty AND smart?  Yes, but not Republican and right wing too. And in Putin’s Russia, she better not be a journalist – he likes to kill them.

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